Dr. Horacio Ravena, member of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances from Argentina, conveys a message of hope, on the occasion of the International Day, of the Disappeared, for victims of enforced disappearances and the rest of civil society.
In all these 18 years, organizational storms in forms of threats, risks, resource constraints have not weakened, but instead strengthened further the Federation. Its common basis of unity and the imperative of solidarity have transcended geographical boundaries and differences in many respects among AFAD’s member-organizations. Linking arms with like-minded organizations in the region and in the rest of the world will ensure that AFAD’s voice be made loud and clear enough to be heard.
4 June 2016 – The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) commemorates its 18th anniversary. Against the backdrop of enforced disappearances in a region wallowing in dire poverty and bereft of regional human rights mechanisms for protection, the AFAD was conceived and born in Manila, Philippines. Initiated by the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearances (FIND, Philippines), the Association of Parents and Family Members of the Disappeared (APDP, in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir) and the then Organization of Parents and Family Members of the Disappeared (OPFMD, Sri Lanka), AFAD has grown and is now a Federation of 14 member-organizations from 10 countries, namely Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste and with an individual member in Laos and two in Switzerland.
Atty. Hermon C. Lagman was a militant labor and human rights lawyer during martial law. He taught the workers not only labor rights but also the value of critical and decisive thinking, self-reliance and steadfastness, collective leadership, and shared responsibility. He motivated trade unions and workers’ organizations to assert and defend their rights even in defiance of the martial law ban on strikes and other concerted activities.
The commission of enforced disappearance, which is a multiple violation of human rights, has been unabated in the Philippines. The Marcos regime registered the highest number of reported victims at 882, followed by the Cory Aquino administration at 825. There were 340 reported victims under the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, 94 under Ramos, 58 under Estrada, and 25 under the present Aquino government.